Sunday, June 24, 2007

Part II

The next morning, June 24, at 5:30 am 2 Drs. and 1 nurse entered my room and said "Unfortunately"….I just couldn't hear anything else after that. I just though my God what is this woman saying to me. Unfortunately what????????????? I seriously could not hear her and had to regroup. I asked her to repeat herself and she said, "Unfortunately, Davis is not doing well. He will need to be transferred to another hospital. He is in respiratory distress and needs an ECMO machine. You're welcome to see him now but he will probably be life flighted in the next hour or so. I couldn't think straight. I couldn't see straight. All I could do was stare into Roberts's eyes looking for some voice of reason on why this was happening to me, to my son, to us.
I was wheeled into the NICU to find my son being bagged and one lady had been bagging him for 2 hours already. I stood up to look at him and I did all I knew how to do and began to pray over my son and his life and before I knew I was praying for all the babies in the NICU. At that moment I didn't care who heard me or how they felt about my prayers, I had to do what was best for me; what was best for my son. I prayed and I sang You Are My Sunshine to him over and over. The Neonatologist screamed across the room, "whatever the mother is doing tell her not to stop, his stats are going up!" I knew God heard my plea and I knew that my son knew his mommy.

Around this time respiratory therapist arrived from Egleston Children's hospital. He was put on Nitrate Oxygen, sedated and paralyzed. He could not go to Egleston because the ECMO beds were all taken and the only other hospital in GA that had this machine was in Augusta, GA, 200 miles away. Because of FCC, Life Flight could not leave until 7am. We went back to our room and waited. They finally arrived, prepped him and told us they would stop by our room on the way out. I went to go pack up. I wanted to go and be with my baby, he knew my voice! They told me I had to stay and I could not go because I needed to heal. Devastated! I had spoken to my dad and stepmother earlier that morning to let them know what was going on. They just so happened to be in Augusta in a hotel and were going to be able to meet Davis at the hospital. I told Robert to go on without me and my mother stayed with me in the hospital. They brought him by my room before getting on the helicopter all packaged up lifeless looking. I just couldn't believe my sweet baby that was just on the inside of me safe and sound was out in the world fighting for his life. As they wheeled him away, I fell apart. I just couldn't do it.

Robert arrived in Augusta the same day and Davis did not look good at all. The Nitrate was working ok but it was touch and go for a while. The attending dr. began several rounds of drugs and he responded very well and it was decided that he would not need ECMO. Thank God! What I didn't realize is that ECMO is pretty much total life support. Everyday he got better and better. Robert sent me pictures and updated me all day long everyday. I was afraid to pick up the phone each time he called but each time he called he had a good report. He wasn't out of the woods yet but he was doing better and that made me happy.

On Tuesday, Robert drove back to Atlanta to pick me up and drive back to Augusta. Before leaving the hospital the picture lady walked in to take his newborn pictures. MELTDOWN! Being wheeled out of the hospital without my baby…MAJOR MELTDOWN. When we arrived in Augusta he was so afraid I'd break down when I walked in to see him but I didn't. I was just so happy to see him. Happy that he was alive and happy that he was a fighter and I had peace that he would make it through this and we would be alright. I couldn't hold him, I could hardly touch him, I couldn't feed him, and I couldn't do anything but talk to him and let him know that mommy was there. The one thing I could do was pump breast milk. I pumped religiously every three hours, even in the middle of the night. My breast milk was kept in the NICU in the freezer until he was able to eat.

Progression was made daily and he was weaned off of different medications and responding very well. They would surprise us everyday with something new that they were doing and allowing us to participate in his care. First it was giving him a bath, second was giving him a syringe through a feeding tube of my breast milk, then bringing in his own clothes and finally when he was 6 days old and on our 5 year anniversary they let me hold him! I was in heaven. He progressed so well but the big test was if he would be able to suck. Most babies that have respiratory issues do not have good sucking reflexes. I noticed when they gave him milk through the tube he would suck his lips or try to put his hands in his mouth, so I asked if he could have a pacifier. She said yes but warned me that he may not take it b/c he probably couldn't suck. He sucked it!!! J The next test was to give him a bottle. He sucked it down in no time flat! The last and final test was to see if he could latch on to mommy and BOY DID HE LATCH ON!!! We were finally able to leave the NICU to go to our own room. YES!

Robert and I checked out of the hotel and went back to the hospital where we were put into a family room where we responsible for caring for him 24hours a day. We were so nervous; we got NO SLEEP that night. He was up all night long! NICU babies are use to noise and lights. WE had lights off, TV off and tip toed around and this kid would not go to sleep. He nursed every 3 hours and had good weight in his diapers so we were good for night 1! The nurses fell in love with him and begged us to let them take him and hold him. After the night we had I looked at our nurse and said "please, will you?" I have never been so exhausted in my life. Exhausted and torn b/c I really didn't want to be away from him but I knew he was only about 15ft away if I wanted him back. We went to sleep for about 2 hours and ENJOYED IT! J

The next day they decided they would take him of the small amount of oxygen he was on and "if" his stats stayed up we could go home the next day. We knew this would be ok b/c Davis had started to pull the oxygen out anyway and wasn't on it half the time and the stats were still good. We had a great night that night, TV on, 1 light on but we slept well and Davis' stats were awesome! The next morning, July 4, they decided we could go home! It was an INDEPENDENCE DAY INDEED; we were finally able to take our son home! There is seriously no place like home!

This experience was truly the scariest, most trying, upsetting, joyful, time of my life. I realize that everything happens for a reason. I realized that so many things in my life that I put up high are so unimportant. Life is so very, very precious and I value it more than ever now. I learned that God will not put more on you than you can bear. I realize that everything that happened was predestined and there was nothing in my control to prevent it because it was there to reveal so many things to me and my family. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy but I am a better person for having gone through it. This may sound crazy to some but I'm glad God chose me! Davis to me is that unimaginable kind of love that I've been searching for all my life. He's my Sunshine.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Jeremiah 1:5

Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations

Friday, June 22, I woke up around 4:30 am for my normal trip to the bathroom to discover that I had a bit of bloody show and thought I might be beginning to loose my mucous plug I knew that loosing your mucous plug really didn't mean a whole lot because labor could start in 2 hours or 2 weeks but I still not go back to sleep awoke my husband to tell him of my findings and then called my mother in SC to tell her I immediately got back into bed as it was my first day on maternity leave and I thought I might have an enjoyable weekend before my scheduled induction the following Tuesday I had already gone over my due date by 5 days so I had pretty much given into the idea of being induced although it was not my first choice. I could not fall asleep for anything Around 5 am, I felt my first contraction. It was different from what I had been feeling for the last few weeks so this had to be it. I immediately got online to post to the Gumdrops that I thought I was in labor. I was so nervous and excited all at the same time. Just knowing that it could be a matter of hours before I met my little boy I timed my contractions at 8-10 minutes apart for about an hour. I knew it would probably be a long day so I sent Robert off to work and told him I'd call him if anything happened I knew if I let him stay home he would be so frantic it might drive me crazy called my mom back and told her to make her way to GA because her grandson would probably be here within the next 24 hours I had gotten my pedicure earlier in the week and decided I better make my way to the nail salon to get my manicure because it would probably be the last one I'd have in a long time. After I left the nail salon I came home to call my girlfriend to let her know what was going on. She left work and decided to come over so that we could walk to keep the contractions going. We walked the subdivision several times before deciding to go to the mall to walk and get some lunch. My contractions became very sporadic at this point coming every 5-10 minutes apart. I returned home around 3pm and my mother and husband had already arrived. Around 7pm mom and I went walking again in my subdivision and finally developed a pattern for contractions.Yes! When we got back in the house I was famished and at several different things. Pineapple, shrimp, watermelon and popcorn…all at different times of course. I had an overwhelming desire to do a load of laundry and started the wash machine and jumped in the shower. By the time I made it out of the shower I was having excruciating labor pains and could hardly talk through them. I begged Robert to call the Dr. but he would not. An hour after that I told him he better call or I would call myself and whether they said I could go to the hospital or not, I WAS GOING ANYWAY! Around 1:30 we made our way to the hospital. Contractions were about 3-4 minutes apart at this time. I did walk to the labor room with help but stopped in the middle of the corridor and threw up. Throwing up with contractions is not fun AT ALL! I walked into my room and continued to throw up on and off for a few hours I was hooked up to all the monitors and found that I was only 1cm dilated and it was a TIGHT 1cm.I was devastated and knew that there was no way I could go to 10 or even 5 cm with this type of pain. It was too early for an epi and the nurse noticed that the baby's heart rate dropped every time I had a contraction. The Dr. finally showed up around 5 am and said he wanted to break my water. I begged him to please not break my water until I received my epidural because I was so afraid of more pain. I was having the horrible back labor. He still broke my water and discovered that I had very thick meconium in my fluid. A monitor was placed on baby's head and something was placed inside of me to flush out the meconium. Soon after the anesthesiologist arrived to give me my epi.aaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh, sweet relief. It actually didn't take all the pain away in the crotch area but it saved my back and I was just happy for that. Dr. Mojick consistently saw things on the monitor that he didn't like and told me we may be headed for a c-section but he wanted to wait for the next Dr. to come in to consult with her Dr. El Gammal arrived and the decision was made immediately to give me a section I cried and cried and cried. After I realized I'd get to see my son in 30 minutes instead of 7-8 hours I was ecstatic! Everything happened so quickly! Another anesthesiologist arrived to push more drugs; I was wheeled to the OR and prepped while Robert stayed behind to suit up I remember asking for my husband over and over and they kept saying he's on the way. I then asked if they'd cut me yet and Dr. Craig (anesthesiologist) said, "I guess I did a good job if you didn't feel that!" The first cut was done at 8:36am, Robert arrived at 8:37am and I heard the sweet sweet cries of Davis Christopher at 8:38am! He weighed in at 6lbs even and 18inches long I waited to see him over the curtain but it never happened but just hearing him cry and knowing that that was my baby crying was enough for me. He and Robert went back to the room where I was supposed to deliver while I was sewn up. I had not even seen this child yet but all I could think was I'm a mommy and I love him already.